We are seeing this play out in places other than the USA - here in Britain, in France, Spain and Germany - levels of trust in government have falled significantly. And the driver may simply be bad government and the manner in which the media reports government:
Starting with the Vietnam War and Watergate, a series of governmental actions served to diminish public trust. Bad behavior by elected officials—including the Clinton impeachment, after the President was accused of lying under oath; the Iraq War, which turned out to have been launched under false assumptions; a failure to defend against foreign interference in elections; and the gridlock that seems to have dominated U.S. political processes in recent years—provided ample grounds for Americans to doubt the effectiveness of their government. And news media that emphasize conflict, scandal and dysfunction could well be contributing to the loss of trust.You could each write your own list of government's failings and they can apply from the supranational (the capture of the WTO by activists and pharma-funded lobbyists, the corruption of EU decisions around everything from olive oil subsidies to vaping, and the use of UN rapporteurs as political tools) right dow the the local city council (dodgy planning decisions, direction of money to pet schemes, the protection of union interests over services).
Quite how you resolve this is unclear - the Knight Foundation from where that quote comes have, with the Aspen Institute has a valient stab at what might be done through improving journalism, better citizenship education, more open and robust protections online and some work to reduce 'filter bubbles'. But what's missing is what, for me, is the central challenge. Our politicians really aren't good enough, have sub-contracted leadership and administration to the unelected preferring instead the soundbite, the virtue-signally but pointless political initiative and an endless round of carefully staged media events.
The Brexit shambles - lack of planning, endless posturing, personal vendettas, tactical policy positioning purely for party or factional advantage - sums up, for me, this problem. Quite how we get better politicians I'm not sure but boy do we need them.